What We Do

FONA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization with the mission to preserve and enhance the U.S. National Arboretum. We work to provide valuable financial and volunteer support through five main focus areas:

31074803915_537f1286fa_kENVIRONMENTAL PRESERVATION

  • The US National Arboretum Research Unit works to identify newly discovered or rare plant species and preserves vital genetic plant material for future generations.
  • FONA works with the Arboretum and local agencies to protect and restore the watershed of the Anacostia River, which sits on the southeast border of the Arboretum. Current projects include the recently completed ‘Bay Saver’ project on Hickey Run and the restoration of Springhouse Run.


  • The USNA Research Unit develops drought and disease resistant plants, flowers and trees, especially urban trees, which are vital to the health of our cities.


  • The USNA is part of the largest contiguous parcel of greenspace in Washington, DC, free to all and interesting through all of the seasons of the year.


  • The Arboretum welcomes visitors with collection tours, curator lectures, and expert workshops. It trains the next generation of horticultural experts and scientists through post-doctoral and college level internships each year. It is also home to the Washington Youth Garden, a project of FONA, which inspires children and families to engage in self-discovery, explore relationships with food and the natural world, and contribute to the health and well-being of their communities.


  • We raise awareness about this national treasure so that everyone may enjoy it, from native Washingtonians to our capital’s global visitors.